The Reflective Parent: How to Do Less and Relate More with Your Kids

Regina Pally. Norton, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-393-71133-2
Psychiatrist Pally (The Mind-Brain Relationship) centers her gentle, thoughtful, and non-judgmental parenting approach around “reflective capacity”—the ability to understand other people’s behaviors and responses as products of their internal mental states. By increasing empathy, she seeks to improve the central relationship between parent and child. Pally’s choice to couch the justifications for her philosophy in introductory “brain basics” neurobiology is misplaced; the space occupied by that shallow science might be better used for exercises or additional parenting examples. However, she does have valuable insights into social psychology, the developing child mind, and how parenting style is affected by one’s own childhood. Pally guides parents on how to take on the adult responsibilities of setting boundaries while using reflection to adjust responses to the child’s needs and perspective. At the end of each chapter she gives examples of things parents can say to children, which adds to the book’s usability. Illustrative “Stories of Parents and Children” feel stylized, and though her ideas are compassionate, Pally’s voice is that of a teacher and not a peer. This tone works with her message of balance as a key to strong relationship building, but lacks the warmth some parents may need to feel supported. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017
Release date: 02/07/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-0-393-71134-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5436-1952-2
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